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Pokemon Go Smeargle: How to take a snapshot and catch a shiny Smeargle

Pokemon Go Smeargle

Pokemon Go Smeargle has been in the game for a while now but if you've not ticked the artistic pup off your Pokedex yet, you're not going to run into one in the wild. That's because there's a very unique method of catching Smeargle in Pokemon Go, one that requires some special knowledge. On top of that, shiny Smeargle is coming to the game very soon thanks to an upcoming crossover event with New Pokemon Snap. So without further ado, here is everything you need to know about Pokemon Go Smeargle and how to catch a shiny one.

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How to catch

Pokemon Go Smeargle catching explained

Pokemon Go Smeargle

(Image credit: Niantic)

Catching Smeargle in Pokemon Go involves using the Snapshot Mode feature. Once you take a photo of one of your beloved Pokemon, there's a chance to get Smeargle photobomb it like the crazy canine it is. Here are the steps you need to take to catch a Pokemon Go Smeargle:

  1. Navigate to your items and select the Camera followed by any Pokemon, or pick the Pokemon of your choosing then select the camera icon in the top right corner
  2. Take a picture of your chosen Pokemon, then exit the Camera mode
  3. When navigating through your photos in the menu with the yellow background, Smeargle may have photobombed it
  4. If Smeargle isn't in any of your photos, repeat steps 1-3
  5. If Smeargle is in a photo, simply exit out and Smeargle will appear as a wild Pokemon in the world around you
  6. Tap on it and you'll be taken to the normal catching process for a wild Pokemon

That's all there is to it! Here's what Smeargle will look like when photobombing your captured images.


Pokemon Go shiny Smeargle

Pokemon Go Smeargle

(Image credit: Niantic)

As part of the in-game event to celebrate the launch of New Pokemon Snap, shiny Smeargle has been added to Pokemon Go. Catching one is as simple as following the above steps during the event, which runs from Thursday, April 29, 10am local time to Sunday, May 2, 8pm. Like all shiny Pokemon, there is a chance you'll encounter a shiny Smeargle. 

Unfortunately, after the event has come to close, you won't be able to encounter a shiny Smeargle. it may return during future events but if you want to maximise your chances of getting one soon, you must take a lot of snapshots during the upcomnig crossover event with New Pokemon Snap. You can read more about the event in a blog post from Niantic.


Pokemon Go Smeargle tips

There are some aspects to consider when trying to catch Smeargle in Pokemon Go:

  • If Smeargle is going to appear, it will be in the first photo you take each time you open the camera, so you don't need to spam the photo button multiple times.
  • You can only catch one Smeargle per day - this resets at midnight local time, not 24 hours after catching the last Smeargle
  • The Pokemon you take a photo of doesn't influence the chance of Smeargle appearing
  • We don't know the exact chance of Smeargle showing up, so simply rinse and repeat the above steps until it does
  • Smeargle's moveset will be copied from the Pokemon in the photo, so consider using stronger Pokemon if you want to use Smeargle in battle
  • Smeargle cannot copy Transform from Ditto, nor can it learn two Charged moves
  • Catching Smeargle contributes to the Cameraman badge
  • Smeargle will stay in the wild for an hour before disappearing
  • Smeargle can appear in a photo of another Smeargle
  • Smeargle can run away from you, so throw some Razz Berries if it's your first one

Thanks to everyone over on TheSilphRoad subreddit for confirmation on these points!

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Give me a game and I will write every "how to" I possibly can or die trying. When I'm not knee-deep in a game to write guides on, you'll find me hurtling round the track in F1, flinging balls on my phone in Pokemon Go, pretending to know what I'm doing in Football Manager, or clicking on heads in Valorant.